During the period of chaos when old models of the world recede, there’s always a feeding frenzy of profiteers and fame seekers who use the opportunity to “confuse and conquer”.
Take mental health, for example, in the mid 1930’s. This was a time when superstition and witchery had been debunked as the cause of mental illness, but real treatments for obsessions, schizophrenia, and other more serious psychological problems weren’t yet available.
Enter one enterprising medical researcher from the University of Lisbon, Antonio Egaz Moniz, who, coincidentally, was one of the signers of the Treaty of Versailles (the treaty which ended the First World War). He used his power and prestige during this confusing time to convince his colleagues to try an intriguing new technique …
If you had a patient who remained psychotic (or just unruly) despite other forms of treatment, why not just drill 2 small holes in their forehead and cut the connection between the prefrontal cortex and the rest of the brain. Snip snip, chop chop, and you’re all set, right?
Later, a nice doctor by the name of Walter Freeman “improved” the technique by eliminating the need for such extensive surgery. He figured out you could accomplish the same thing with an ice pick inserted above each eye, using only local anesthetic.
Dr. Moniz was eventually paralyzed when one of his former patients shot him in the back, but not before he won the Nobel prize, and introduced a barbaric technique inflicted upon literally thousands of patients.
How did this happen?
Chaos + Confusion –> Blind Obedience to Authority with a System
Could it happen again? You betcha.
As Web 2.0 takes hold in full force, you’ll hear dozens, if not hundreds of authorities present new marketing systems and business models. Most people will scramble from one to the next, like sheep wondering which herd they should join.
I’d rather be confused than misled.
Here’s the truth.
No one knows what business model works in the Web 2.0 world yet. The jury is out.
Really … no one knows.
It’s pretty clear that blogging software is the dominant content management system, and that when done well, they provide conversion enhancement. I’ve also seen value in monitoring Twitter feeds for keywords of interest … it’s a free way to immerse yourself in the natural conversation in your market.
But I’ve seen others who stick to the old model 100% and do very well. (Except for thin sites trying to make it in AdWords … Google just doesn’t seem to go for this anymore)
And yes, AdWords is changing their interface and constantly upgrading their Quality Score algorithms. But the principles behind successful AdWords marketing … relevance, tight campaign structure, and more relevance, relevance, and relevance followed through in the entirety of your sales funnel remains entirely the same.
No one fricking knows.
Can we all just agree it’s going to take a few years before we really know what’s best in the modern internet marketing environment?
Or are we going to allow some authority to convince us we need an AdWords Lobotomy?
Something to think about,
Dr. G 🙂